… was the greatest tool for their refinement.
Have you ever noticed that the longer you have to wait for something the more God is able to do an amazing work in You? It seems to me that the most of all of that work revolves around deep-rooted anxieties and obsessions which hinder us from living in full abandonment to Him, this Passover I noticed this simple truth in my own life.
Do you think it’s harder to wait for something you know is going to happen or to wait for something you’re not sure is going to happen? My husband would say the 1st but to be honest I’m not sure, does knowing the ending and the outcome make the waiting any easier than not knowing or does it simply tap into a different set of issues we need to let God deal with?
In Christianity, it is widespread to believe that Christ died on Friday and rose on Sunday but within the Messianic branch of the faith, this belief is questioned. Messianics believe that the Messiah is literally the Passover Lamb, so believe that Yeashua died at the exact time that was designated for the annual Sacrifice of the Passover Lamb as stated in Exodus, this would have been day 14 of Nissan/Aviv. Each year, Passover is marked on this exact day regardless of which day of the week it falls under (simplified). So as I was getting ready for Passover this year, we were getting ready to celebrate it on a Thursday; we did everything that we had done in previous years and as God stipulates in His Word, I cleaned the house out of any leaven I closed down all my access to the outside world and just got ready to meet YHVH in His sacred and appointed feast time. We finally sat down to eat the Passover Meal an hour and a half after Sunset on Thursday.
The next morning (I can’t remember why) I re-checked the Calendar that we use to check the annual Feast days and realised that we had celebrated the Passover one day earlier than was pronounced. I was devastated in a way because, we didn’t leave behind any lamb to re-do the Seder that evening but when I thought about it I realised that actually God had turned my mistake into something beautiful, because we had in fact sat down to eat the same evening that Yeshua had His last Supper with His disciples.
I had already been awesomely humbled the day before from just thinking about Yeshua’s precious sacrifice, but that Friday as I realised our mistake I felt as if I was watching and waiting alongside the disciples from the moment of the last Supper to the knowledge of the resurrection. I acknowledged that my experience of waiting would have been vastly different to their own as they did not really know if Yeshua would arise or if He was just a ‘good teacher’ like everyone thought He was, however I had history to lean on.
As Friday went on I thought about the women at the foot of the cross, I thought about the fact that there would have been a conflict between wanting to stay with their Lord and not wanting to disobey the commandment of God to stay indoors during the Passover and my mind stayed in this period of ‘in-betweeness’. Another difference within Messianic community is our questioning of exactly how long it was before Yeshua arose from death. There are those who agree that Yeshua died on Friday and rose on Sunday, those who believe He died on Thursday and rose on Sunday whilst others who believe that He died on Wednesday and rose exactly between the changing of day 7 and day 1, I belong to the last group and as such believe that the disciples would have been anxiously waiting from early on Day 14 after Yeshua’s arrest (which is late Tuesday our time) to early Sunday (Day 18) after hearing the news from the women, a wait of 4 days!
If you’ve ever had to wait for something you know just how horrible it can be, even though we were not there with them God asked me to wait and refrain from doing any of the things I would normally do to get through the intervening days (not an easy task). Even though I waited from Wednesday to Sunday (1 day less then the disciples and not in the least under the same circumstances) it gave me an insight into how it must have felt for them to wait without knowing whether what they were waiting for was based on truth or lie.
I can only imagine what their waiting would have looked like, what words do you think the devil would have whispered to them? I believe that this in-between time of waiting would have been the greatest tool for their refinement, I feel strongly that God would have used this time to deal with many of the hidden insecurities, fear, anxieties and burdens which would have surfaced during this time of darkness and self-inflicted exile. Who am I? Was it all real? Was I a fool? Why am I here? and the questions probably went round and round in their heads. We see this time affecting each of Yeshua’s close friends and followers differently, the women who as soon as they could ran to see if the prophecy pertaining to the Sign of Jonas had been fulfilled yet still unbelieving and confused when they come across the empty tomb, we see the steadfast love of Peter and John as they run to the tomb to verify the words of the women, we see the 2 disciples distancing themselves from all that had been on the road to Emmaus and we see Thomas possibly too fragile and vulnerable to believe and have his heart broken again.
Even though my waiting was not the same, I did feel God cleanse me of something deep within me that I had been and have been slowly creating into an idol and I am glad that He told me to wait, because without those days of stillness I probably would have missed walking, resting and waiting with the disciples because I would have been too distracted and too busy to allow God to refine me.
What lessons has God taught you this year? Please feel free to share.